Denver, CO

Denver's campaign against fireworks falls on deaf ears

David Heitz

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By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Depending on where you celebrated the Fourth of July Monday night in Denver, it may have sounded like a war zone due to all the illegal fireworks.

Social media reports pointed to Central Park and Park Hill as illegal fireworks hot spots.

But exploding fireworks could be heard across Denver, despite an intensive social media campaign this year by Denver police urging residents not to set off illegal fireworks.

Cops take viewers on fireworks bust

In its Sunday Matinee Minute on Facebook, Denver police took viewers on illegal fireworks bust. The video starts with, "Sarge gave the bust signal, we're good to come on in."

You see police seizing fireworks such as Black Cats firecrackers and Roman candles. The police valued the confiscated fireworks at between $3,000 and $5,000.

"The reason these are illegal is they cause serious injuries to people," an officer explains in the video. "The danger is, say it blows up in the tube. It blows all your fingers off.

Residents unconcerned about fireworks dangers

Many residents did not seem concerned about fireworks' dangers. Many used social media to criticize police officers for focusing on people having a good time instead of "real" criminals.

"I'm so happy this was rescued off our streets so instead of people staying home having fun they can go out and drink and drive," commented one on Facebook. "Way to go!"

Others supported the police. "Congratulations on a job well done. Thanks for enforcing the law."

Police seize 10,000 pounds of fireworks

The video doesn't offer details about the bust, but a police department Facebook post does. "Thanks to some anonymous tips and solid investigative work by officers, your Denver Police Department seized an estimated 10,000-plus pounds of fireworks that were being illegally sold out of a residence in northwest Denver on Friday night," according to the post. "That's a whole lot of fireworks that won't be illegally fired off in our neighborhoods this Independence Day weekend."

The post said the investigation remains underway, with no arrests reported.

Sounds like a war zone

"It sounds like Baghdad over here in (Park Hill), but go ahead and celebrate this very important win," a person commented Tuesday night sarcastically.

It is illegal to possess, purchase or ignite fireworks in Denver. Doing so can result in a year in jail and a $999 fine. To report the sale or use of illegal fireworks, call the police department's non-emergency number at 720-913-2000. Call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867) to provide information anonymously.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career at local newspapers. Today, I report on Denver and Aurora city halls for NewsBreak. Prior to joining NewsBreak, I worked several years as a health reporter and branded content writer in the healthcare space. I also worked many years as a news editor and city editor. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver.

Denver, CO
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